Today, Wednesday, Sept 15, marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), and ESPN kicks off a full slate of dedicated original content and programming built around the theme “Somos,” (We Are) to highlight the contributions of Latinos in sports. Hispanic Heritage Month-themed programming includes a mix of events, as well as original content that will air across ESPN networks throughout the month.
Five tentpole projects — Mexican Fighting Style, Sneaker Culture, United States of LaLiga, Somos Afrolatinos, and Image — will rollout once per week for the duration of the month-long celebration, across ESPN’s English and Spanish-language platforms.
Mexican Fighting Style (Sept. 15-18): Content pieces exploring how Mexican culture has influenced the most recognized style in combat sports.
- 15: MMA Mexican Style (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – Feature on how Mexican-style boxing has influenced MMA.
- 17: Detail: Nick Diaz (ESPN+ MÁS) – The Mexican-American fighter returns to the Octagon on Sept. 25 for UFC 266: UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega. In this episode, Daniel Cormier breaks down what makes Nick Diaz such a unique fighter.
- 18: Champ Talk – ESPN Deportes YouTube channel will feature a candid conversation between Tijuana-natives Brandon Moreno, the first Mexican-born UFC champion, and boxing legend Érik Morales.
Sneaker Culture (Sept. 19-25): A look at the booming sneaker culture amongst Hispanic athletes and celebrities.
- Sept 21: Sole Survivor (ESPN+ MÁS) – Jaysee Lopez is the king of the sneakerheads, especially in the sneaker resale industry, the proud Puerto Rican and New Jersey native, shares his inspiring journey from homelessness to becoming the successful owner Urban Necessities.
- Sept. 22: J Balvin(SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – The Colombian superstar talks about his love for sneakers, landing his signature Air Jordan 1 kicks and shows part of his impressive sneaker collection. ESPN+ MÁS, ESPN.Com, and ESPNDeportes.com will feature video and written companion pieces, with extended cuts from the interview by The Undefeated’s Nick DePaula.
- 23: Francisco Lindor (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – Video feature on New York Mets Francisco Lindor’s journey from his family buying sneakers in layaway to becoming the only current Latinx athlete in the U.S. with his own signature shoe. Includes written piece on ESPN.Com and ESPNDeportes.com by The Undefeated’s Aaron Dodson.
United States of LaLiga (Sept. 26 – Oct. 2): A look at how players from Latin America have influenced LaLiga on and off the pitch.
- Sept 27: United States of La Liga – Deportivo La Coruña: A never before seen episode of The United States of La Liga on ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN Deportes’ YouTube channel.
- Sept 29: Explainer: Latinos in LaLiga (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) –– A look at the historical impact Latin Americans have had in the league.
- 29-Oct.1: 21 Under 21 – A group of ESPN.Com and ESPNDeportes.com soccer experts rank the best 21 players under 21 years old in the league.
Somos Afrolatinos (Oct. 3-9): Continuing the conversation on the intersection of race and the Latino culture.
- 6: Pelo (Hair) (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) – A conversation with Afrolatina athletes about their identity and natural hair journey.
- Somos Afrolatinos, a special that brings together a group of Afrolatino athletes, from across sports and generations, for a conversation on the intersection of race and the Latino culture will be made available on ESPN Deportes YouTube channel.
Image (Oct. 10-15): Takes a look at the complex balance Latina athletes navigate between their image as professional athletes and beauty.
- Oct. 10: Beauty (SportsCenter, ESPN, ESPN Deportes) –The special will bring together Olympic gold medalist and professional tennis player Mónica Puig, Paralympic gold medalist Nicky Nieves, Olympic bronze medalist and professional boxer Marlén Esparza, gymnast Luisa Blanco, and UFC bamtamweight Joselyne Edwards for an intimate conversation about beauty standards, the pressures they face as professional athletes, and much more. Moderated by ESPN Deportes’ Katia Castorena and shot at a hair salon in New York City, Beauty, was produced by an all-female crew and feature an all-female panelists. A written companion piece by Castorena will be featured on ESPN.Com and espnW.
- Sept 15: Every year, MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day and the Roberto Clemente award is given to the player that exemplifies community involvements, but the honor to retire 21 across the league is yet to happen.
- 20: One Sombrero, two sombreros – The story behind the Packers’ Aaron Jones Cheesehead charro sombrero.
- UFC Ultimate Knockouts: Hispanic Heritage Month, a UFC-produced two-part special featuring some of the biggest Latino names in MMA. Episode 1 will debut on Friday, September 24th at 8pm ET on ESPN Deportes and episode 2 will airs Sat., Oct 16 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN Deportes.
- UFC-related content airing ahead of UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega:
- Brian Hits Hollywood – For UFC Featherweight challenger Brian Ortega, getting into showbiz is more about family-biz, a chance to lead his brother through a different path from his.
- We’re Not Spies – When UFC Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and her sister, fellow UFC fighter, Antonina Shevchenko moved to Perú and traveled through the Amazonian River, they found a new purpose.
ESPN Radio: Throughout the month, ESPN Radio will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the next generation of Latinx stars. The vignettes will highlight Tampa Bay Rays Wander Franco, gymnast Luisa Blanco, Mexico’s rising star and Real Betis midfielder, Diego Lainez, Liga MX Femenil’s forward and one of the top young strikers in the world, Alison “Aligol” González, and Puerto Rican boxing sensation Xander Zayas.
Marketing: ESPN Deportes will also introduce creative for its brand campaign during Hispanic Heritage Month. Titled “Es Lo Nuestro (It’s Our Thing),” the campaign captures the core values of Latino fans – community, pride, belonging, unity and joy.